5 Steps to Quickly Get Your Course Online

​If you need to move your face-to-face or hybrid course online, b​​elow are five steps to help you get started quickly. While there are many tools that can satisfy each task identified below, the follow easy to learn tools are suggested so that you can quickly focus on building your course  instead of investigating the many tools available. 

Step 1: Contact your students and welcome them to the course.

Send an announcement through Canvas, and it will be automatically sent to your students' district emails. 

  • ​After logging into Canvas, click into the course where you need to contact students. 
  • Then in the left course navigation menu, click on Announcements. 
  • At the top right, click on "+Announcement." 
  • Give the announcement a title, and then type your message. You can add links to course content​ inside Canvas if you need to. 
  • When you're ready to send, click on "Save" in the bottom right. This announcement will post in your course and send an email to students right away.​

Step 2: Upload all learning resources to Canvas for easy access.

Upload your course content directly to Canvas​ where possible. If the file size it too large, consider storing in a Google account or your district OneDrive. To ensure students can access your content:​

Step 3: Keep course organization simple.

Without clear organization of course content and assignments, students can easily become overwhelmed. Using the following course design skills, to quickly create and organize your course content in Canvas. After you create/upload content to your Canvas course, you can send them a new ​announcement to let them know where to find the course content and assignments:

  • Select the module page as the home page for your course. This page will grow as new content and modules are added, allowing students to quickly find and access it. 
  • Add content to content pages, and then add the pages to a learning modules for each week or unit of instruction. Create assignments and quizzes when you want to assess students (there are several types of assignments), and to ensure regular and substantive interactions in your course, you can create discussions to provide opportunities for student-to-student engagement.
  • Use the rich text editor to format content and directions that include an objective, how to complete an activity, and links to the instructional materials needed to complete the activity. 

Step 4: Build community and engagement with students.

  • Create instructor videos so that students can hear your voice and see your face. TechConnect​ Zoom​ is a free, easy tool for creating videos. You can share your screen to present information or narrate a slide presentation. Once you have created your video, you can quickly share the URL link in Canvas. You can create videos for many different needs, such as:
    • welcoming students to your online course
    • introducing them to a unit of instruction
    • presenting a lesson
    • explaining how to complete an assignment
  • Provide opportunities for students to communicate with each other about the course content. One alternative to a Canvas discussion is VoiceThread. This multi-media tool lets you and students create threads where users can interact by leaving text comments, recording video comments, and recording audio comments. You can pose instructional questions and give students an opportunity to provide a verbal response. Visit the VoiceThread link above to explore the introductory guide in the Distance Education Resource Shell.
  • Ensure students are viewing the videos you create for them by asking questions while they view a video. In addition to creating videos, Canvas Studio allows you to add quiz questions​ and provides basic analytic data to help you monitor student engagement with​ the content you create. Visit the Canvas Studio overview page​ in the Distance​ Education Resource Shell for more information.​


Step 5: Hold online office hours so that students can meet with you.

Student may have questions about course content and assignments they are asked to complete. Consider holding office hours (and class meetings) using TechConnect Zoom and TechConnect Zoom Appts. This easy and convenient​ tool allows you to set up meetings and students to access them right inside your Canvas course. If you need further assistance, the link above will take you to a step-by-step tour of the TechConnect Zoom features. 

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